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With Wildfire danger looming again, might think about face mask now

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,205
10,073
SF Bay Area
For those with a Model S/X, the bioweapon defense mode works great cleaning the air in your cars with its massive HEPA air filter. We drove through a smoky area on a road trip to southern Calif two years ago with ash falling and know that it's very effective. We were not able to detect smoke at all inside the car with it on, only upon opening the car door. The Model 3 doesn't offer quite the same level due to the smaller filter size possible in the car, although Tesla says its way better than other typical car filters. Last year when the Paradise Fire's smoke had reached our area and the sky was colored with it and the odor was very detectable, I kept my Model 3's air on recirc and fan on high but could detect a slight smoky odor. And we were some 200 miles away from the source. If you're interested there's a thread somewhere on TMC about the Model 3's filtration during this fire and people measuring the air quality inside the cabin.

In any event before it's needed, if you live or travel through an area that could be subjected to wildfire, now would be the time to stock a few N95 face masks in your car's emergency kit. Even if you have an S or X you might find you need to leave the car and you or your kids really don't want to be breathing the fire particles in. Also don't want to wait until there's a run on the masks like there was last year. PSA over.
 
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thecloud

As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive
Nov 24, 2014
1,775
1,646
Sunnyvale, CA
Between the recent power outages, minor earthquakes, and today's wildfire outbreaks, it's definitely a wake-up call to refresh the emergency kits in our homes and cars. Thanks for the reminder on the N95 masks. Had bought some after the Camp Fire, but keeping them in the house doesn't help if we're away from home, so I'm going to make sure we have a few stashed in our frunk bag.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,413
14,426
West Vancouver, British Columbia
In any event before it's needed, if you live or travel through an area that could be subjected to wildfire, now would be the time to stock a few N95 face masks in your car's emergency kit
Before buying an N95 mask I recommend reading this page Masks and N95 Respirators

Some key points:

“To work as expected, an N95 respirator requires a proper fit to your face. Generally, to check for proper fit, you should put on your respirator and adjust the straps so that the respirator fits tightly but comfortably to your face. For information on proper fit, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions...N95 respirators are not designed for children or people with facial hair. Because a proper fit cannot be achieved on children and people with facial hair, the N95 respirator may not provide full protection.

And if you have never worn one you will likely be surprised and annoyed at how — when they fit properly and perform as intended — hot and uncomfortable they are.

An N95 is not a mask that anyone is likely to wear for an extended period of time. But it can reduce smoke exposure on an emergency basis.
 

thecloud

As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive
Nov 24, 2014
1,775
1,646
Sunnyvale, CA
N95 or P95?
The N95 mask is for non-oil-based particulate matter, like dust and smoke. The P95 mask has a carbon filter for trapping oil-based particles, like paint.

The N95 mask will filter out 95% of the particulates generated by a fire. It's also half the price of a P95, which is overkill since the air will not be full of aerosolized paint.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,205
10,073
SF Bay Area
Keep in mind you can charge your phone in your car if your power goes out. Keep your car and devices charged ahead of this. Hope everyone stays safe.

I’m hearing that they will make decisions on where power will be shut off around 8am Saturday and shut downs may start around 7pm. You can use the location map links in Post #6.
 

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,707
3,217
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
Face masks are usually only necessary for those with severe asthma. Most of us have been around smoke for years, and somehow survived. I lived through two parents who smoked, and we lived in Riverside for years, where the LA smog goes after irritating LA residents. We had a small mountain two blocks from our home, and many days we couldn't see it.

So why was it you need a mask? Or is that more irritating than the mask itself?
 

Eno Deb

Active Member
Aug 17, 2018
2,624
3,368
SF Bay Area
Face masks are usually only necessary for those with severe asthma.
Exposure to smoke can actually cause or worsen asthma (sometimes years later). But I agree that you probably shouldn't use a mask unless the PM2.5 component of the AQI is very high. The masks make the lungs and heart work harder, which brings its own risks. But what you can and should do is switch your car's A/C to recirculation on bad days. I did some tests using an air quality monitor in the car during the Camp fire last year and recirc keeps the PM2.5 concentration quite low in a Model 3. An air purifier with HEPA filter in the most used room at home also helps.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,205
10,073
SF Bay Area
I do have allergies and asthma as do a lot of people in my area. Between being in an area bordered with mountains and with evergreen pollenating plants, to building construction dust to agricultural spraying and field harvesting, there is a lot in our air already especially in valley trapped areas.

The fire fighters and residents down at ground zero in NY who now suffer from breathing ailments as well as cancers is an extreme example but still a valid one. What goes into your lungs doesn’t come out. The particles and irritants add up over the years. The fact that all kinds of materials and toxins are going into the wildfire smoke in areas where homes and business burn to the ground should give people thought.

A friend of mine who had lung cancer surgery has compromised lungs from the treatment and has stents in his lungs to help him breathe. He also has to go in to have the mucus buildup sucked out periodically. Once your lungs have been compromised to the point of noticing some breathing difficulty (allergies, asthma, COPD, cancer, cigarette/vaping, etc) you don’t realize how precious it is to not think about breathing. Be smart out there. Have some protection on hand if you do need to be out in very unhealthy air. Remember what goes in, stays in.
 
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